Cindy's journey to her inner strength

Today Cindy Andries is your hostess in the boutique guest house Seeds of Silence, a magical place in the Algarve (Portugal). She hosts people who want to enjoy nature, the peace and quiet. There are many types of retreats, both organised in groups and solo. For Cindy, this life, in connection with nature and being able to open the doors of her little paradise to others, is the result of her courage to always listen to her heart.

Whenever you reach your lowest low, there is always an inner strength

Cindy was born in West Flanders (Belgium), her parents ran a farm and Cindy was expected to continue this way of living. It didn’t feel like her calling. Even though she loved nature very much even then, she constantly felt that this wasn’t her mission in life. She was an only child and didn’t really have a place to tell her story. She often withdrew to nature. One of her favorite moments was watching the clouds. Staring into infinity. She noticed that a cloud never really stands still, there is always movement. While looking at those gray shapes in the sky, there was always change. “What else would she want?” She started to dream. She read books and created a new world for herself. She imagined a future that suited her. A life of independence and abundance.

There is a more beautiful world and you can create it

She married Nico and helped him build his own motorcycle shop. With a lot of passion and an infinite commitment, Cindy discovered the ‘entrepreneur’ in her. They built on their success step by step. It was a busy life and every now and then Cindy needed an escape. She would travel for a few months a year, distant destinations, new experiences. In these travels yoga came her way. She liked to move. But sitting still and breathing consciously was a real confrontation for her. Getting to know your own inner world was new. Her head was also busy and restless. But Cindy doesn’t give up easily and one of her yoga teachers taught her that she had a choice. She didn’t have to be guided by the speed of her thoughts. She could also sink deeper into her body, to a place of rest and peace.

She took this wisdom with her to Belgium. Her curiosity was piqued. She was looking for many ways to get to know herself better and to grow as a person.

Slowly the realisation grew that her contribution to the cause was no longer nourishing for her. She had enjoyed building along, but it felt like it was time for something else, time for her own dream. During that time, Cindy lived two lives. She started teaching yoga herself, she built up a coaching practice, but the step to get out of the motorcycle business seemed so difficult.

On June 7, 2015, an unexpected accident happened. Both their home and business went up in smoke, what a shock. A few days later Nico was already doing everything necessary to create a pop-up so they could continue the business while waiting for their home to be rebuilt. Cindy watched. She didn’t have the strength to participate. She withdrew. This felt like her chance. Nico can do this without me. It gave her freedom. In the new building they created a great yoga room. Cindy was now fully focused on what she wanted to put in life. She also partnered with other coaches and trainers to conduct retreats together. Ibiza, Tenerife, the Netherlands were a few of her destinations. She dreamed again of a more beautiful world, a world that would suit her better. She wanted her own retreat centre abroad. The search began and lasted for years.

2019 was the year she found the spot in the Algarve! She took Nico with her and together they decided, this is a top location. They bought it, this was the beginning of Seeds of Silence. It was immediately clear to Cindy, this place is going to be one of beauty, silence and tranquility. The work started. Renovating and furnishing. The desire to share this place with others grew every day. Cindy was eager to open her doors. Then came the first unexpected twist, we all know it, Covid-19. Meanwhile, Cindy had already learned that fighting reality is useless, so she took her time, saw it as a moment to reflect extra on her package of services and what her life would look like, alternately in Belgium and in Portugal. She dreamed on. Until she was ripped out of her dream in a very hard way. It started with a general feeling of extreme fatigue and malaise, but soon followed a hospitalisation and her condition deteriorated severely. A tick bite caused an infection in her brain. She became paralysed. Her life went by a thread and the medical world watched helplessly. This was the beginning of a hellish period.

Being paralysed felt like hitting a wall, all her freedom was gone. How could she tear down that wall? Who could help her?

Afterwards she said: ‘I could buy a solution for everything. Her strategy had always been to find people to help her, to pay them, and that’s it.” Now there was no one to pay. I had to do this alone.

Fortunately, there is always that tremendous power within me that wants to get up and move on

Even in the period of the bite with all its consequences, Cindy wanted to find solutions, go out and try new methods. But again there was that wall. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how deep she went to use whatever energy she had left in her for her healing, it didn’t seem to work.

Her strength, which had always helped her out until now, seemed useless. How could this be? Cindy was getting closer and closer to the idea of ​​giving up. She didn’t know herself that way. Giving up, no longer seeing beauty in life, that didn’t suit her.

No, she didn’t want to give up, but she did feel she needed rest. Don’t fight, don’t give everything. Thus she discovered the possibility of accepting the current reality.

Change is always possible, but first you have to accept where you are

This realisation helped Cindy find much more balance in using her strength and in doing nothing. Being alone with what is, without wanting to change anything about it.

For four months, she lived in her cocoon, in Portugal. Being alone, doing what you can and not going beyond your limits. Her body began to recover, slowly. Silence and nature were her two companions. This period made her realise how important it is to spend time alone. Just being with yourself, without caring for anyone else, without distraction from a screen or a book. Those moments alone are a kind of reset moments. Both the body and the mind need this.

She has integrated this into her work. If you attend a retreat at Seeds of Silence, whether it’s alone or in a group, there is always planned room for alone time for everyone attending.

Hosting her own centre is a new role for Cindy, she uses many of her talents, but now just in a different way. She is still an entrepreneur, but the rush for success has disappeared. The desire to prove has subsided and has made room to enjoy the process. Building on the further growth of Seeds of Silence step by step feels like a huge opportunity, no pressure.

She likes to connect with people. She already did that in the motorcycle shop and yet it was different. Now it is a connection in a wave motion. People come and people go. During their stay they connect with nature, with themselves, with Cindy and often with other guests. Then there is always that moment of departure. That alternation of together and alone is a new rhythm in Cindy’s life. It is also important to her that when people leave, they have tools with them.

Everything I teach people, they can continue to apply without me

Cindy doesn’t just believe in the strength within herself, she believes in the strength of each individual. She uses yoga, breathwork, her way of life, her coaching and hypnosis, her singing bowls to also tap into that possibility with her guests, the game between accepting and using your strength to create a different world for yourself. You can use that power to dare to dream, to imagine a different life than now (if you want that of course!). Another way to change your life is to focus on self-care. For Cindy, that means taking time for yourself and also asking yourself the question, what would I like now? Do I prefer more colour on my plate when I eat, do I want to change something in the decor of my house, do I feel more comfortable in different pants? It’s often the little things that make a big difference.

Cindy is an example of a self-care attitude to life. For her, this way of working is a perfect balance between her self-care and her desire to be there for others. People come and go. Cindy is together and then alone again. The perfect rhythm for her to sustainably shape her guidance in the growth and awareness of others.

You shine from within

Cindy pays a lot of attention to her environment, the peace, the silence, the beauty, the comfort. At the same time, she believes that happiness is not on the outside. You can ensure that you create an environment that makes it easier for you to go in with your attention, so that you find the strength, love and warmth within yourself. That will make you glow!